So that was just a big vent chock full o' complaining there in the last post. What has me so stressed that book exchanges and etiquette teas are pushing me over the edge?!
Well, homeschooling is more difficult, for starters. Rivendell is amazingly awesome. I could not even attempt to do high school without these other ladies. Nathan would just have to take a bunch of online classes or something. So I know how much easier my load is because I have Rivendell, but at the same time, physical science has been a ton more difficult to prepare for than last year's life science. The BJU book is definitely at least 9th grade course--integrated physics and chemistry. I feel like sometimes the text is written in a way that is more confusing than enlightening, like they go out of their way to make concepts more difficult. I've spent a lot of time with a jr. high physical science book (Prentice Hall Science Explorer) that I got used off Half.com for a dollar. It has been SO helpful. I'll probably use it for the whole course next time (when I don't have a high schooler in the class!), except I don't think it's possible to get a teacher's manual or any tests for it, so I'll have to make my own.
Also it's been hard to figure out how to best use the class time. We really need more than one hour and a half class period to cover a chapter and do labs! Fortunately the book has 21 chapters, and we have 33 weeks, so I can take 2 weeks on a good deal of the chapters. What has ended up working the best is for me to take one class period to go over the entire chapter, and then use the second class period to do labs. I'm thinking about next year already, which will be biology for the high schoolers, and life science for the jr. highers. For biology, maybe the boys will watch the DIVE dvds at home, and then use the class time just for labs. We are going to prepare for the bio SAT II test, so I am thinking that maybe we'll have another afternoon (not Tuesdays) where we just go over the dvd stuff, plus anything extra I think will be important for test prep. I don't know. No matter what, I am definitely looking forward to getting back into biology stuff again! Physics was never my favorite!
Prepping for the Latin class has been another thing that has taken more time than I expected. The first part of Henle pretty much reviews all the stuff Latina Christina I and II teach, just covering it a LOT more quickly, and with tons of translation. But still--it wasn't difficult because all my years of teaching Latin to younger kids has finally cemented in my brain all the declension endings and basic verb conjugations (first and second conjugation, present, future, and imperfect tenses). BUT September rolled around, and now we're not reviewing anymore! Finally we learned the past tense (or the "perfect indicative active" as it is technically called), which has different endings on a whole different principal part, and now we're working on the passive voice. Gah. I am NOT remembering these things very well, so it takes me a long time to work through all the exercises! I am just trying to think ahead and think positively about how easy this will all be when it's time to teach Caleb and Jonathan! The boys will take the National Latin I Exam the second week of March, and that is as far as I will go in Latin. I really do enjoy Latin, but right now--it's just one more thing I really don't have time for. One day I'll be retired from homeschooling (that day is a minimum of 18 years away, LOL), and then think of how much time I will have! I'll become a Latin expert! I'll write my Christmas letters and blog in Latin! Well, maybe not, LOL. But it won't be a stresser like it is now!
All this prep work, plus the regular grind of homeschooling at home, has really taken a toll on the house. Here's a warning--don't just drop in to visit us, LOL. Or if you do, walk around with your eyes half closed. I have big plans for this break. Big organizing plans. One example--we took down Faith's crib back in oh, September some time. We propped it in the hallway until I could organize the basement storage room to fit it in. It is still propped up in the hallway. Drives me crazy! Another area of disorganization is Micah's clothes. He is now out of 12 month clothes mainly, so I brought up the 18 month tub of clothes. Now both tubs are in the hallway with clothes piled haphazardly in and around them. I think it is high time that boy has clothes in his actual closet and dresser! These are not the only areas, of course. And we need to clean too, not just pick up and straighten. I am actually so overwhelmed with how dirty the house has gotten these past few months that I can hardly even think of where to start and what to do. Hopefully I'll be able to make some inroads into the chaos in the next week. I'll keep you posted on my progress, or lack thereof. Unfortunately, the 3 big messmakers will be around . . .